More than 300 people have attended a rally in Athenry, Co Galway, to support Apple's proposed €850m data centre for the town.

The computer multinational was granted planning permission over two years ago but construction has been delayed by legal challenges.

A final court decision on whether the project can go ahead is expected in the coming week.

Today's march was organised by a campaign group calling itself 'Apple for Athenry'.

Organisers highlight the economic benefits of the proposed data centre: 300 construction jobs over multiple phases and 150 technical positions on an ongoing basis.

It would be the single biggest investment ever made west of the Shannon.

The centre was approved over two years ago, but the project was the subject of a judicial review on environmental grounds following appeals by local residents and a landowner.

A ruling on that review is due to be delivered in the commercial court on Thursday.

Apple first announced plans to build a data centre in Athenry in February 2015.

A similar facility was announced for Denmark at the same time.

The Danish project is now complete and planning is in place for a second project.

The proposed development in Derrydonnell on the outskirts of Athenry covers more than 24,000 square metres and would cater for the company's Apple Music, App Store, Messages, Maps and Siri customers in Europe.

Apple has described the planned facility as a critical piece of infrastructure to meet global demand for cloud computing and storage.

Objectors claim planning permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála without a proper environmental impact assessment being carried out.

The huge increase in power demand in the region was a key concern, along with flooding fears, and the impact on local wildlife and livestock.

As the long-awaited court decision approaches, campaigners are calling for changes to the planning system to enable future large-scale projects to be dealt with more efficiently.

There are concerns that reputational damage will jeopardise future investment.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has previously commented that delays in the planning process could hurt future investment by Apple and other multinationals.